Baya Kolarikova From Eml Slovakia: We Face Climate Emergency!

Baya Kolarikova from EML Slovakia is a keen vegan and passionate anti-climate change activist. As schoolchildren around the world prepare to go on strike to demonstrate for government action on climate change, we asked Baya a few questions about her thoughts on the movement, the climate emergency and personal tips for reducing waste.

School student Greta Thunberg went on protest alone in Sweden, and has inspired a movement of millions around the world. What do you think of the protests?

I support it 100%, I definitely agree that taking responsibility for our situation and taking some serious action to reverse it, is necessary right now. Greta’s demonstration was a great way how to alarm people and media about the urgency to act NOW. 

The environment is facing catastrophe. How does it feel to be growing up in a world facing disaster?

It feels like we are the generation that can decide about many things! We have been growing up with the knowledge about climate change and I think the majority of young people are not careless about our planet and with social media, the impact we can have is tremendous and if we choose the right goals the results will be very positive. Our future and the future of the planet is in our hands!

What do you to personally reduce your impact on the plant?

I have been trying to live as zero waste as possible for a few years now. I am far from perfect but the perfection is not the goal, it's about creating the right habits. We must all recycle, and that’s just the minimum! This is a picture of me picking up plastic trash at my local beach. I try to think carefully when making purchases. When I buy food, I choose the fruit and veg that is package free, I bring my own reusable bags, I buy my detergents and soaps in bulk store where I come with my bottle and just refill it. When it's really hard to avoid packaging, I choose one that is made out of paper. The majority of the clothes I get are from second-hand stores or from ethical and environmentally sustainable brands. 

You have been vegan for some time now – is that inspired by your environmentalism?

Yes! I eat a plant-based diet which is actually probably the single best thing we can all do to lessen our impact on the planet! Basically, when it comes to buying whatever I just think twice and ask myself do I really need it? I vote with my money for the planet that I want to live in so supporting brands and people that have a positive impact on it is what I look for! Read more about what I eat on my website.

What is the scariest thing you have learned recently about climate change?

The scary thing is that if we don't reverse it in 12 years, if we can't keep the world at it’s current temperature without another rise, my future will look very different from what we are used to now - not even talking about the future of my kids! It scares me that there might be no fish in the ocean with the current amount of overfishing, or that it might be so polluted and filled with microplastic that we might not be able to swim in it, that there will be extreme heat waves, crop failures, unexpected weather, very little wildlife and that it will just most probably be a much less nicer world to live in. 

People have criticized the school students for going on strike when they should be in lessons. If you were at school right now, would you be protesting – and what do you say to those people?!

I would be protesting for sure-it is our future that we are protesting for! In fact, I would hope teachers in my school would join me as well! What is the point of studying when there is no further use of my skills in the future? 

Do you have anything you want to say to climate change activists fighting for a better planet?

I am with you! Keep fighting! 

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